Thursday, March 12, 2009
Something remarkable happened yesterday. But to understand just how remarkable, I need to give you some background. For as long as I have known Matt he has hated grass. Before he was able to move around himself – when I put him on grass, he would lift his legs high in the air and balance himself using his incredibly strong abdominal muscles. He would desperately try to reach for us, crying until we picked him up off the gruesome grass.
Nothing changed when he started crawling. When placed on grass he would just sit there, legs and arms in the air; crying. We tried when he was wearing shoes and long trousers – but he was still terrified. When he started walking we thought he would tolerate it more – we tried to lift him onto the grass holding him in the standing position. No ways! As we lowered him down to stand, he would lift up his legs and wrap them around our legs refusing to be put down.
Unfortunately for Matt we are quite the picnicking family and often we go with friends to a nearby botanical garden. A typical sight is of Matt sitting and playing on the picnic blanket whilst all the other toddlers are crawling or running around chasing balls and butterflies. Matt gets really frustrated because he would love to be moving but from his perspective he is surrounded by this sea of spikey, prickly, itchy, tormenting grass. So instead of partaking in the joys of play, he contents himself with sitting within the safe boundaries of the blanket.
I was beginning to despair that Matt would forever be repulsed by lawns. I wasn’t at all hopeful that we would see any change soon. Yesterday Lloyd and I were playing on the grass and we invited Matt to join us. As we usually do we tried to give him a opportunity to see that “grass can be your friend”, that is we physically sit him on the grass with us. At first Matt responded in his usual way – legs up, hands up, and tried as fast as possible to scramble onto dads lap without having to touch the gross green stuff.
But then something happened…I am not sure what exactly happened. I have tried to think long and hard – did we do something, did we say something??? I have no answer. But what I can tell you is that Matt started walking on the grass from mom to dad, from dad to mom, over and over, with the distance increasing and increasing, he just kept walking. He was a bit unsure but also remarkably pleased with himself – and he just kept going. If he tripped, he would just calmly use his hands to pick himself up and keep walking. I can’t describe all that was going through my heart and head – shock, delight, astonishment, joy, pride, happiness, and puzzlement. It is fantastical and a complete mystery, I can’t explain it at all.
Today he showed us that his new found friendship with grass was not just a once-off fling, but it seems to be a budding long-term relationship…here are some pictures to prove it.